Yesterday, we butchered 10 chickens from our broiler stock. We will do about two or three more rounds of butchering this season (we’ve already done a few as it is), which will be enough meat to get us through the winter.
I plan to write a couple of posts in the coming weeks about how to both butcher a chicken and process the meat for the freezer, but this post seemed necessary after our round of processing yesterday.
After we finish freezing and storing the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, I always place the carcasses in crockpots to process down into chicken stock. There’s not much you need to do to make chicken stock – I’ll include a couple of recipes at the end of this post – but chicken stock has so many uses in the kitchen, it seems a waste not to use the entire bird!
I love cooking with chicken stock, and there are so many ways you can use it. When processed in a pressure canner, it lasts indefinitely and can be used up throughout the rest of the year. Just make sure you use a pressure canner – chicken stock cannot be safely processed in a water bath canner.
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite recipes for using up chicken stock.
**J&R Pierce Family Farm is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to allow sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon. I often link to Amazon when recommending certain products, and if you choose to purchase, I may earn a small percentage of the sale. It costs you nothing extra, and all recommended products are ones that I personally vouch for. **
Health Benefits of Chicken Stock
Before I get into all the awesome chicken stock recipes you’ve got to try, let’s talk about why bone broth is so outstanding.
It heals (and fights) infection. If you’ve been battling a cold that you just can’t seem to shake, reach for the soup. Chicken broth can help you get over a cold by reducing your body’s number of white blood cells.
It aids in digestion. Chicken stock has gelatin that helps to protect and heal the mucosal lining of your digestive tract. This can make it easier for your body to process nutrients.
It reduces joint inflammation. Chicken broth contains glucosamine, which can help stimulate the growth of new collagen and to reduce overall pain and inflammation.
It reduces overall inflammation. Bone broth of all kinds is high in amino acids glycine and proline, both of which are proven to help reduce inflammation.
It encourages sleep and has a calming response. The main amino acid found in bone broth, glycine, is scientifically proven to calm you down. Maybe that’s why chicken noodle soup is considered a comfort food?
It produces collagen to support healthy hair, skin, and nails. Many people take collagen supplements these days, which are a great way to boost your overall health and wellness. However, chicken soup can provide the same kinds of benefits – plus, it’s delicious!
It helps repair and grow your bones. There’s a reason why your mom always feed you chicken soup as a kid – it helps you grow! It contains phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, all of which help your bones develop.
It’s cheap. Homemade bone broth is not only free from the sodium, preservatives, and other chemicals found in storebought stock, making it more affordable, but it’s also way cheaper, allowing you to use every last bit of your chicken.
It’s easy to make. Think you have to rely on storebought chicken stock or bouillon cubes to season your soup? Think again! Homemade chicken stock (or bone broth) is incredibly easy to make. All you have to do is throw the ingredients into a crockpot and it will do the work for you.
Bone broth contains the following nutrients, making it a powerhouse food if you’re looking to increase your overall nutrition:
- Chondroitin sulfate
The Top 20 Recipes to Use Up Chicken Stock
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is a classic meal and a staple in our household. There are lots of ways you can dress it up, but I like this classic recipe from Dinner Then Dessert. It helps you use up your extra canned carrots, too!
I do also like creamy chicken soup, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this delectable soup from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I like to toss in some mushrooms and wild rice as the occasional substitute for regular old noodles, too.
Looking for a quick weeknight meal? This delicious chicken miso soup is a clear winner, especially if you’re looking to shake things up a bit. This recipe by My Kids Lick the Bowl is made with water, but I use chicken broth instead to give it a more savory kick. It also has plenty of spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini, so you’re sure to get your fair share of veggies in for the day!
Risotto was one of the first “grown-up” dishes that I learned how to cook. I’ve found so many ways to prepare it, from risotto with butternut squash, carrot risotto, zucchini risotto…the list goes on and on. This mushroom risotto by Modern Honey is absolutely delicious, and should be a staple on any chicken broth-lover’s dinner table!
Couscous is one of those foods that tends to get lost by the wayside. I always reach for pasta or potatoes and forget about how delicious couscous is! This is a great way to use up your chicken broth – this recipe takes 1.5 cups of broth – and is a phenomenal side dish that could be a meal all in itself. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Delish.
Ready to get REALLY fancy? This sauce, which is named for a quarter of Paris, is super tasty and tastes great with just about any kind of fish.
The recipe calls for white wine, but as a special homesteader hack, you should know that white wine can almost always be replaced with chicken stock for the same effect. This is a huge bonus if you tend to not keep wine in the house.
Which is not a problem I usually have, but still.
Here’s a great recipe, courtesy of Magic Skillet.
Thai Chicken Casserole
If you’re in the mood for something different, this recipe is the one to try. It uses thick rice noodles, green onions, chicken, peanut sauce, and, of course, a cup of chicken broth!
Check out the recipe at Taste of Home.
Salmon and Feta Wilted Spinach Salad
Yup – you can even use chicken broth in a salad! This salad recipe, also from Taste of Home, is easy to make and also packed full of nutrients. You’ll need a cup of broth to make it.
Alfreo doesn’t have to be bad for you, and this recipe, by Chef Savvy, proves it. It uses one percent milk and chicken broth instead of heavy cream, and it’s a phenomenal topper for pasta, vegetables, or anything else (no judgment if you eat it by the spoonful).
Curry Chicken Soup
If you want a dish that will really help fight inflammation, check out this recipe by Fit Foodie Finds. It’s got turemirc, ginger, cilantro, garlic, and lemongrass – herbs which are known to help encourage digestion and fight inflammation.
Butternut Squash Soup
Nothing says autumn quite like butternut squash soup. This dinner time favorite is not only nutritious, but it’s also delicious – it would be great paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. This recipe is designed for vegetarians and as a result calls for vegetarian stock – but of course, you can use the bevy of canned chicken stock you have on hand!
Check out the recipe at Peas and Crayons.
This is one of my favorite comfort food meals to make. It’s also super simple. Here’s a quick recipe over at The Country Cook.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
If you’re looking for a game day crowd day pleaser, these Buffalo Chicken Sliders are the way to go. They’re easy to make in the crockpot and can serve the masses. You don’t need a lot besides chicken, chicken broth, hot sauce, Ranch, and plenty of cheese! Recipe at Eating on a Dime.
Crab and Spinach Dip
Looking for that perfect holiday party appetizer? Look no further. This baked spinach, artichoke, and crab dip recipe by Life’s Ambrosia doesn’t call for chicken stock, but I’ve added it in with great success. When you saute the spinach, do so in a mixture of chicken broth and butter. The results will be fabulous.
Yes, you can even use chicken stock in desserts! This savory bread pudding is really more of a stuffing, incorporating Gruyere (or Cheddar) along with plenty of stock, heavy cream, and mushrooms. Yum.
Here’s the recipe by Food52.
The secret ingredient to light, fluffy mashed potatoes? Chicken stock. Add a cup and a half to this massive batch by The Whole Cook – you’ll be glad you did.
I love everything about gravy. I put it on vegetables, I put it on French fries…I put it on everything. To make it, all you need to do is combine chicken broth with your drippings, some flour, and some butter. Whisk until it’s your desired thickness. Easy peasy!
Chicken Pot Pie
Again, another winter comfort food. You’ll need lots of chicken broth – 32 oz – but the results are spectacular. Check out the Girl Who Ate Everything’s recipe here.
I haven’t given you a lot of healthy recipes to work with, so here’s one. Steam your vegetables in chicken stock!
There’s not much to it – all you need to do is place your vegetables, garlic, and some chicken broth in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook it for about five minutes, or until the vegetables have reached your desired level of tenderness.
Chicken and Broccoli with Dill Sauce
This recipe from Taste of Home is absolutely spectacular. Enough said.
Spicy Chuck Wagon Beans
Yet another recipe from Taste of Home, this recipe for baked beans is about as easy as it gets. Plus it uses up all that chicken stock you’ve got hanging out in the pantry!
How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock
You can make homemade chicken stock that is as simple or as complicated as you’d like. I start by placing three to four chicken carcasses in my crockpot. I have this crockpot, which has worked wonders in helping me to process chicken stock, render lard, and create all kinds of delicious homestead concoctions!
The amount of chickens you will be able to fit in your crock pot will vary depending on the size of your crockpot and these eyes of your chicken carcasses.
There’s no rule as to how many you can use – just modify the amount of water you add based on how full your pot is. Alternatively, you can also make stock in a stockpot on the stove – I just like the crockpot because I can set it and leave it.
That’s all I do, but you can add other ingredients to your organic chicken stock if you are hoping to make a more flavorful dish. Some options include:
- Apple cider vinegar
It’s up to you! I usually allow my stock to process in the crockpot for 24 hours, but you could do it for as little as 12 hours or as long as you need to let it cook down (I cooked mine on low). When you’re done, place it in the refrigerator, freeze it, or can it using a pressure canner.
That’s all you need to know! Happy stock-ing.
What other recipes do you love using fresh, homemade chicken stock in? Be sure to let me know in the comments.
Subscribe to our email newsletter for regular tips and tricks on homesteading – wherever you are. You can also follow us on Instagram (@jrpiercefamilyfarm) and Pinterest (J&R Pierce Family Farm) for frequent updates. Happy homesteading!